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Retirement Savings Policy by Michael P. Barry

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Chapter 5 The Regulatory Framework—Minimum Standards for Retirement Plan Design and Tax Code Nondiscrimination Rules

The foregoing discussion of plan finance—ERISA’s benefit insurance and minimum funding rules and FASB’s accounting standards—generally apply only to DB plans. The “finance” of a DC plan is much simpler—the participant’s benefit is whatever is in his account. But there are two other sets of ERISA rules that have a significant effect on the design and administration of both DB and DC plans: minimum standards for participation, accrual and vesting and Tax Code nondiscrimination rules.

Minimum Standards

ERISA provides “minimum standards” for retirement plan design in three domains: participation, accrual, and vesting. These rules ...

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